News Roundup: Zedillo, Sri Lanka and drones in Pakistan

– Former Mexican President and current ATCA suit defendant Ernesto Zedillo casts aspersions:

“It is obvious to me that whoever is behind that lawsuit is not really seeking justice for the innocent people whose [lives] were so painfully devastated by that outrageous crime.”

– The complaint in Zedillo is now available on Scribd.

General Shavendra Silva

– American University Washington College of Law’s UNROW Human Rights Impact Litigation Clinic files an ATCA/TVPA lawsuit against former Sri Lankan general Shavendra Silva.  Silva was “commander of the 58th Division of the Sri Lankan Army during its brutal counter-insurgency campaign that costs the lives of up to 40,000 civilians in spring 2009.”  Silva now lives in New York City, where he serves as Deputy Ambassador.

– Susan Farbstein of Harvard’s International Human Rights Clinic has a rundown of the summer’s ATCA rulings.

– Farah Khalid Khan of the Research Society of International Law has an … interesting article in Pakistan’s The Nation on the possible use of ATCA by victims of U.S. drone attacks.

Under ATCA, if the defendant has any ties to the US, whether or not he committed the human rights abuses in US, compensation can be demanded. Thus, the people of [Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas] have to look nowhere else, but to the party that has violated their rights. In the case of drone attacks, it is clear that a legal case of right to remedy can be developed whereby the US government will pay compensation to the victims of drones.

The ATCA legitimises such complaints whereby the US has committed a violation of IHL and, therefore, the plaintiff is eligible for monetary compensation under law of Torts. The victims of drone attacks have similar grievances, e.g. destruction of property and land, loss of family members, physical injuries, mental injuries etc. This means that it would be better if these victims file a class complaint against the US government on the basis of ATCA.

Using ATCA to sue the U.S. government over military policies in while the operations at issue are still going on? Good luck with that.


About Charles Donefer

I am an attorney in New York City.
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3 Responses to News Roundup: Zedillo, Sri Lanka and drones in Pakistan

  1. farah says:

    Regarding the ATCA, for drone victims’ compensation.. what is your opinion on the above ? since you called it “interesting”, iam sure you’ve got views on it. please share

  2. farah, you can’t sue the U.S. government under ATCA.

  3. Pingback: Weekend Roundup: Sarei, Sri Lanka, Exhaustion, Law Profs, Sikh Genocide | Alien Tort Claims Act Blog

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